Kodak Black was arrested in his Florida home yesterday while on Instagram Live and charged with seven felony counts, including grand theft of a firearm, child neglect, possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of a weapon by a felon, and two counts of probation violation.
You can actually hear the officers in the background as his IG Live broadcast was still rolling.
Even if you don’t follow Kodak’s music, if you’re a fan of hip-hop, you know that the “Tunnel Vision” rapper’s name has become synonymous with jail time.
In 2015, Kodak was arrested in Pompano Beach on charges of robbery, battery, two counts of false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age, three counts of false imprisonment of an adult, driving with a suspended license, and possession of marijuana.
In 2016, he was for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and fleeing from law enforcement, placing him on a year of house arrest. And in 2017, Kodak was arrested on a probation violation charge after he was accused of leaving his house to go to a strip club. He was also indicted on sex assault charges last October.
There is obvious tremendous culpability here. With the amount of money Kodak makes he can easily hire a body guard with registered weapons instead of having a stolen one.
He could adhere to his house arrest restrictions and not have 4.9 grams of marijuana in his bedroom closet. He is also an alleged sexual assailant. No one is making excuses for his behavior by any stretch of the imagination.
However, it is just as lazy to demonize the rapper. To assert that he just “can’t do right” or that he is incapable of abiding the same rules everyone else is mandated to adhere is the first level of a multi-faceted problem.
When you see Kodak in and out of jail, why is it he, a 20-year old kid born to an immigrant family in the slums of the Florida projects, who is labeled broken and not our correctional system, that incarcerates at a rate 4 to 7 times higher than other Western nations, causing American taxpayers over $80 billion per year?
In November of last year, the Philadelphia born rapper was sentenced to 2-4 years in state prison… for riding a dirt-bike! We’re talking 2-4 years for a nearly decade old case from when he was 18.
Praying for @meekmill and his family!!! Crazy how bad the system is SMH
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) November 7, 2017
Saddened, angered, and disappointed by the @MeekMill news …. really sad
— Peter Rosenberg (@Rosenbergradio) November 6, 2017
The same in-and-out-and-in cycle that has plagued Kodak is the one that has effected Meek, and is the real problem that needs to be looked at here: Recidivism.
Recidivism, which has come to be known as “the revolving door” is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.
According to Prison Scholars, 67.8% of all released prisoners are re-arrested within three years of release. And being that African-Americans make up a larger proportion of these prisoners, of course, recidivism most directly affects them as well.
When we look at cases like Kodak and Meek Mill, delinquent should not be our fist thought. Neither should hard-headed or “threat”.
There is an obvious link between poverty and imprisonment in our country that cannot be ignored. And because our prison systems do not make life after incarceration habitable — with limited economic mobility and fiscal consequences — there’s no wonder why poor communities of color also pay the highest price of high recidivism.
Kodak Black doesn’t need your sympathy, he needs a better system. Without a program that rehabilitates, Kodak is doing no better behind bars than he is on the streets.